Margaret Ann Thompson
STOCKTON, Calif. — Margaret Ann Thompson died Nov. 10, just over a month after celebrating her 100th birthday in Stockton with a dinner for her extended family of 50 and at an afternoon party at O’Connor Woods Senior Living for many fellow residents and local friends. There was a graveside service at Mount Calvary in Portland.
The group in Stockton bid a fond farewell to the woman they described as their favorite world traveler, gracious hostess, generous philanthropist, loyal friend, and loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother: Margaret Ann Wiese Thompson.
She was born Sept. 28, 1916, to Margaret Ann Chambers Wiese and Arthur John Wiese in Portland.
Mrs. Thompson attended St. Stephen School, St. Mary Academy, and Marylhurst College in the Portland area, where she began her life-long commitment as a Catholic. Because her mother thought the University of Oregon was too wild, Margaret entered Oregon State University in Corvallis, graduating with a major in home economics. Teaching at Florence High School in that coastal town, she met and married the school’s principal, Thomas Thompson, in 1941.
She was a gracious and equal partner with her husband in his career as a college administrator at Lewis and Clark College in Portland; Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California; Morningside College in Iowa. They retired in 1978, returning to Stockton.
Mrs. Thompson was involved in community activities both in the Midwest and in Stockton: the League of Women Voters, AAUW, St. Joseph's Hospital Auxilary and others.
The couple traveled extensively in the United States and internationally: Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, the Caribbean, several trips to Europe including taking their entire extended family to the wedding in Ireland of her grandson David Thompson. She spent winter months in Palm Desert with her husband and friends for more than 15 years, where she was known for her Super Bowl parties. Later, she planned outings of 30 plus family members to Ireland, Alaska, Hawaii, and Palm Desert for vacations and family celebrations. She was an active and generous supporter of private education, including Portland's St. Mary's Academy, the University of Portland, Pacific University in Forest Grove and Morningside College.
Her pastimes included crossword puzzles, reading and book discussion groups, politics (always a vocal and ardent liberal), golf, travel, family, as well as a Stockton Symphony supporter and regular performance goer for more than 30 years. Deeply involved in bridge during most of her life, she was a winner!
Upon the death of Tommy, her husband of 58 years, she moved to O'Connor Woods, where she has been enthusiastically involved since 2000: hosting parties, playing bridge four times a week, taking classes, serving on committees, and visiting with friends.
All her life, Margaret remained a good and loyal friend to people she had met across the country in various college towns, as well as on military bases during World War II and the Korean War. Although her Christmas card list dwindled in recent years, she kept in touch with friends made over the past 70 years.
Known by her friends as a gracious hostess, a style-setter, an outgoing and caring person, she leaves dozens of longtime friends all over the United States, but especially at O'Connor Woods. She will be missed by many in the community and remembered fondly as a vibrant, active, involved and feisty friend. Her sense of humor — a little Irish blarney — and positive attitude endeared her to many.
Most importantly, she is the loving, caring and beloved matriarch of a large family, all now located on the west coast: sons Roger with his wife Marlene of Hillsboro; and Tom and his wife Sue of San Rafael, California; daughters Pam Class and her husband Ken of Stockton and Mary Ann Babar and her husband Azam of Hockinson, Washington.
She is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Grandson Clodagh Thompson wrote this tribute to her on her 90th: "It seems to me that God has gifted Gram with a long life so she can remain an excellent role model for us all. I hope to cherish spouse, family, and faith as much as she does and to live my life gaining inspiration and motivation from her ways. May her American spirit of living life to the full and her Irish spirit of rising above any hardships or obstacles always remain strong."
The family thanks the staff of O’Connor Woods for their care the past 16 years, as well as her caregivers Ashley Reoliquio and Neng Yang.
Contributions may be made in her honor to St. Mary’s Academy.